An almost identical structure to the now-famous Utah monolith has been found across the world in Romania. This one has what look to be deliberate loop-de-loop scribbles scratched on its entire face and stands at about the same height as its Utah twin. The European monolith is only a few feet away from where an ancient Dacian fortress once stood, according to The Daily Mail.
It’s still shiny silver and still quite reminiscent of a John McCracken sculpture. McCracken was a skilled minimalist artist who died in 2011, according to The New York Times. The artist’s son told The Times his father had talked about creating art meant for remote places before his death. The theory is inconclusive, but the David Zwirner gallery, which has hosted McCracken’s work for decades, says it’s indeed a McCracken piece.
Officials at Utah’s Bureau of Land Management announced the U.S.-based monolith’s disappearance over the weekend. Now, where the structure once stood, there’s little sign it was ever there. Oddly, though, the monolith has seemingly been hiding in plain sight for a while. A Redditor who goes by the name Bear__Fucker dug into the Google Earth archives and found convincing evidence that the structure was installed around five years ago.
First, they found the statue’s geographical coordinates. In a comment on a post asking to find the monolith’s location, they explain the red Utah rock was a giveaway. But that’s where the simple clues end. The shape of the rock and its texture (“flat rock vs sloped indicating higher up in a watershed with infrequent water,” they explain) played a key role in pinning the location. Lastly, the Redditor looked at the helicopter’s flight path, which started in Monticello, Utah, according to the post, and they followed it until the chopper went off radar.
“Usually indicating it dropped below radar scan altitude,” they write. “From there, I know I am looking for a south/east facing canyon with rounded red/white rock, most likely close to the base of a larger cliff/mesa, most likely closer to the top of a watershed, and with a suitable flat area for an AS350 helicopter to land. Yes… I'm a freak.”
In all, the comment claims it took the geo sleuth 45 minutes to crack this case. In a direct message to Motherboard, they explain Google Earth images from 2015 and before show no monolith. In a 2016 picture, though, the pillar’s shadow can be seen on the surrounding rock, and vegetation in the area has seemingly been cleared.
On the original Reddit post, someone asks Bear_Fucker if they work for the FBI. “I would love a job with the NSA or something where I could apply my stupid talent,” they replied. “But no - I have no ties to any government agency.”
Still no word on where the metal monolith came from, but it was discovered earlier this month by a team of biologists and Utah Department of Safety officers while they were conducting a bighorn sheep survey from a helicopter. The team saw the shiny object from the sky and proceeded to land and investigate.